How to Present Like a Pro

How to Present Like a Pro by Dave Bresler

We’ve all attended numerous presentations at functions such as trade shows. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.

But what makes good presentations good? Remember that speaking engagements often lead to connections, providing you with a wellspring of prospects or lead sources. This was the discussion at a recent Around the Horn forum session. A financial advisor in attendance pointed out that he has never spoken in a meeting where he has not gotten at least one lead. Don’t underestimate the potential returns from a good presentation!

So how do you make a good presentation?

Choose a topic that has relevance to current business interests. Then spend significant time on its preparation. If you’ve prepared well, it will show—and if you haven’t prepared well, that will show, too. As one person said at the forum, “Aim high. Bring value.” If you show that you take the topic seriously, you’re more likely to get your audience interested in it, too.

Next, we established the importance of giving a good presentation. Believe it or not, the presentation of your topic is just as important as its content. The most valuable topic is useless if it isn’t delivered well to its audience.

Your presentation should be appealing, interactive, and informative. Use humor and engage your audience. Always leave time for Q&A. One person at the meeting suggested giving the audience a survey after your presentation. He said not only will you gain valuable feedback, you’ll get names for your email list. Another person suggested webinars. Even if only one person attends them, if he or she is the right person, you will get business.

Once you’ve invested all that time in creating a great presentation, get more “bang for your buck” by presenting it at as many venues as possible—but not just any venue—be selective and choose venues where your target market is likely to be found.

A patent attorney added, “Demonstrate your skill. Don’t just say you’re good at something.” The recent political sphere has made all of us familiar with the spectacle of someone loudly boasting, “I’m good at that, I’d do a good job!” without any evidence to support the claim.

Remember that you’re not there to “sell” to your audience; you’re there to talk to them—and in plain English, not jargon. If you assume (often wrongly) that the audience knows what industry-specific terms mean, you risk losing them. So keep it simple. As a tax attorney at our forum put it: “Speak to your audience, not at them.”

Do you have other ideas on giving successful presentations? I’d love to hear what you think. Comment below or contact me here.

Dave Bresler
President of Network!Network!
Phone: 914-924-1297
Contact us using this online form.